May 06

Shakespeare Company’s ‘As You Like It’

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

As You Like It 0505 NB2_2404

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a comedy with cross dressing, love, hate and a whole lot of laughs. It’s a lot to take on and the Shakespeare Company does a good job of balancing it all in their production running at the Vertigo Studio.

The play tells of Rosalind (Julie Orton) who has been banished by her uncle Duke Frederick (Nathan Schmidt). She decides to run away to the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia (Myla Southward) and the jester Touchstone (Mattie Overall) not before falling in love with Orlando (Joe Perry). In the forest she disguises herself as a man to maintain her safety. Meanwhile in the duchy, Orlando is forced to flee from his brother Oliver (Stafford Perry). Rosalind and Celia meet up with companions in the forest including Jaques (Roger Leblanc) a melancholy traveler.

What makes the Shakespeare Company’s production of As you like it quite delightful is that the company can pack so much into the time and space that they have. The space is designed simply by JP Thibodeau and is also paired with the contemporary costume design by Ronda Borneman.

Orton and Southward have an amazing chemistry on stage and this allows the humour of Shakespeare’s words to shine through. Perry puts in a great performance as Oliver and Leblanc is completely charming and ridiculous as the melancholy Jacques, providing a contrast to the comedy on stage.

There are two slight missteps in the play, namely that Celia is meant to be disguised as a poor woman; her clothing doesn’t really illustrate this. The other point of the play (that is really on Shakespeare) is that Duke Frederick just has a change of heart, with no real explanation.

The Shakespeare Company has a lovely play on its hands, filled with merriment and humour. As you like it.

The Shakespeare Company’s As you like it runs until May 9th. More information is available online.

Photo: Roger Leblanc as Jaques and Joe Perry as Orlando
Credit: Benjamin Laird Photography

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